Here I am with another short and to the point entry about our trip. We're back in Chicago for an overnight.
August 7th, yesterday, we checked out of the Milwaukee hotel with every belonging and 8 people in our Sequioa. I compared it to driving with a whale on one's back. At least Ian was driving and not me. It was only for the morning though, as after church and lunch we dropped my parents and their suitcases off at the airport. We had also given 4 bags of ourgrown and/or winter clothes to my uncle, so come the afternoon we could all stretch in the car again.
After breakfast (if you are traveling through hotels and aren't packing enough food of your own for the trip, I strongly encourage folks to stay at places that have breakfast. On -normal- trip days, this would be plenty to get us through to the early afternoon for lunch, but seeing as family get-togethers are all about sharing food, it got us through until about 11 a.m. each day, before someone (not our kids) declared they wnated to eat something) we crossed all of Milwaukee to attend Mass at St. Augustine, the church we went to every summer I visited, and the same one my parents were married at. The pastor is ancient, with a tendency to wander in his prayers, but the service was heartfelt and a little sad as they wished one of their altar boys farewell. He's joining the Marines this week.
Not too far away is my uncle's house. We went in circles for a bit (there are several street with the same name, none of them connecting) but finally followed the stream of kids who had parked themselves at different corners as guides, much like glowing algae in the ocean. We did finally arrive and met with a fantastic picnic. My dad cooked steaks, and my aunt and uncle made rice and chili, with plenty of fruits and veggies to go with. We all ate out in the garage which surprisingly was not chaos with 19 people moving about. Ian and I had a little tour of their house and saw the created submarine bunks and the crazy amounts of toys and storage for the kids. And to think they homeschool too. Amazing.
Our kids had a fabulous time. There were so many toys and kids to play with I'm surprised we got them away as easily as we did. Katherine and Nicholas especially are going to miss them.
A quick farewell at the airport to my parents, and we drove the short distance to Chicago. Jonathon took a very long nap while the rest of us vegged before having dinner with Anne (from Manila) at Ed Debevic's down the street from our hotel. The food was good, but the kids were still worn out, so it wasn't long before we tossed them into their beds for the night.